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July 06, 2009


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How did you feel about Love Exposure? It seems like everyone is seeing it/talking about it. . .


What Peter Watkins said about film festivals.

Glenn Kenny

@roujin: It's certainly not dull, as everyone will assure you. It's also kind of a mess, albeit an occasionally glorious one. I find the "wow, aren't Japanese people wacky?" tone underlying some of the more ecstatic reviews to be kind of off-putting, but the picture's definitely worth your time. Imagine someone trying to filter a mid-'60s/early '70s Jean Eustache or Jacques Rivette psychosexual study through the sensibility of 21st-century manga and anime, with a religious satire thrown in for good measure. And then imagine that rendered in the most deliberately foursquare cinematic style possible. It's something like that, kinda, sorta.


Is Sono's Love Exposure in any way comparable to his Suicide Club, beyond the presence of schoolgirls? 'Cause that thing was bonkers, even by the extreme end of J-horror's standards.


In case there's a "wow, aren't Japanese people wacky?" vibe in my previous comment, that's not what I really mean, more that Suicide Club's tonal shifts, most notably in the way the grisly thriller plot is interrupted with a somehow even more grisly musical number, are some of the more bewildering and unsettling I've encountered in all my years of cinephilia.


Recently caught Petty's "Soft For Digging" the other day, after reading a rave by Walter Chaw.
The first two acts contain some of the best psychological horror since "The Shining". Impeccably framed, extremely well shot (16mm, I think), gloriously long takes, good sound design...seriously creeped up flick

Didn't realize that Sono was the same cat behind "Suicide Club" (haven't seen) and "Strange Circus" (have seen)...I wrote this up after peeping it.

"...no one does bizarre quite like the Japanese. Cult Director Sion Sono ups the weird ante to the nth degree with STRANGE CIRCUS, a macabre, Grand Guignol tale with story elements typical of your garden variety, run-of-the-mill, heartwarming variety - incest, sexual abuse, dissociative identity disorder, and, of course, extreme gore. A mindfuck of a film whose shifting realities only become clear in a final 30minutes that really, really tie the film together, Sono culls together disparate bits from similar influences such as Fellini, FIGHT CLUB, DePalma, and The Three Faces of Eve into a potent stew of psycho-sexual tension."

Does "Love Exposure" have an American distributor?

Glenn Kenny

Yes, Petty's a very talented guy. Although, to be honest, I was as annoyed as I was creeped out by his "S&Man." FYI, he doesn't seem "like that," as they say, in real life. Nice guy, could take him for an athelete.

"Exposure" seems not to have a U.S. distrib yet. Might be one of those things that goes straight to DVD. One of the nice things about such fests as the NYAFF is they give audiences the chance to see this stuff in theaters.

@JF, don't worry. As for the "Suicide Club" comparison, this film is very different—extreme in another key, you might say.

don r. lewis

"S&Man" blew my mind....I rarely get "got" by film trickery, but man, he got me. Watching it for the first time half drunk certainly didn't help. I'm surprised "S&Man" never got a big cult following or decent release. Is it even out?? I'm too lazy to look....


Soft for Digging's pretty awesome. I remember seeing it at the Annapolis Film Festival 5 or 6 years ago and it's good enough for me to still vividly remember some scenes and images.

Matthew Kiernan

LOVE EXPOSURE is still the best film I've seen all year.

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